My Updated Last Wishes

Last weekend, one of my friends returned to Portland after traveling South America for over a year. You would think that we would have chatted about all the things she saw or caught up on our daily lives – but the conversation was heavy, big picture stuff. For me, everyday is an existential crisis so I’m always up for a “What the hell am I doing with my life?” or a “Let’s talk about death,” conversation. We did a bit of both.

After talking about funerals, I realized that the “plan my own funeral” goal from last year was short-sighted because I’ve already mentally made some changes. But how would anyone know unless I put it in writing?! So here goes, the bigger, longer, and uncut version of my last wishes.

General Preparations

THE OBITUARY – I learned from my stepfather who worked at the newspaper, a good obit photo needs to really focus in on your FACE. Ones where you’re grouped with a bunch of people will just make you look pixelated. At the moment, I think this should be my obit photo.

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JUST KIDDING! But seriously, please pick something flattering. Also, you know those funny obits that go viral? Well, I don’t need anything that exciting, but maybe troll my instagram since those are clearly approved straight from the source. It might not even need my face – just a representation of me:

photo 1

Feel free to include all of my eccentric interests…and don’t forget to say that I’m survived by my cats.

DONATIONS – Being an animal lover, I would like any donations to be given either to The Oregon Humane Society, or the Oregon Zoo. (I have always dreamed of having a brick or a bench or something at the zoo with my name on it).

FUNERAL HOME – Beings that I don’t subscribe to any religions, you can pretty much pick anything that’s easy.

Funeral Home Services

MY REMAINS – A big part of me wants to go six feet under in a head-to-toe leopard outfit, but I have read way too many horror stories of people being exhumed and scientific evidence shows they woke up. Cremation sounds like a quick and dirty process (no pun intended). I don’t really care what you put my ashes in, but if it had a cat on it, that would be pretty cool. But don’t leave my ashes hanging out on your mantel so make sure you dump me right on a Hawaiian beach within a timely fashion 😉

SERVICE – We already know the music (updated below), but where’s the party going to happen? Well, it depends on the time of year. If it’s summer, do something indoors and then go have a beach bonfire in my honor (hey! if you could spread my ashes at the same time! that would kill two birds with one stone!); if it’s the winter, do something holiday themed – like Timberline Lodge. Make sure you serve gingerbread cookies and peppermint schnapps. No ironic ugly Christmas sweaters, please.
VIEWING – Before I’m cremated, I don’t really want anyone to look at me – unless they really want to. But no public viewing. Yuck.
FLORAL ARRANGEMENT – I think it would be a little funeral-zilla to be picky about flowers. Go with whatever is easiest. If you’re like, “It would be a lot easier if she just picked!” then go with yellow and pink roses. No carnations.
PHOTOGRAPH – Again, something flattering, please.
RELIGIOUS ITEMS – Let’s be very clear here. I am not religious. No religious items or prayers or hymns at my service. If you really think I’m going to hell, then maybe we shouldn’t know each other in our living lives.

 

CLOTHING – Well, I already said that I don’t want to be viewed, but I think my husband, Thor, should pick a dress (sorry, dude) and the highest of high heels.
LITERATURE TO READ – I have read King Rat by James Clavell every summer since I was 14. Please read the passage from the last page of the book that starts, “His eyes looked at the things of the past…” until it the last line, “And then, in his turn, he looked back no more.” I think my friend, Amanda, should be the reader because that’s totally her jam.
MEMORIAL REGISTER – Ok I literally had to google what this is. Skip it! And all the stupid stationary. I really don’t want it. HOWEVER, let’s talk about guest list. Anyone is allowed to come, and please send an invite to my BFF’s Martha, Gaga, and Schwarzenegger.

 

Participants

OFFICIATOR – Ummm, your choice?
Family member or friend to perform the eulogy – One time my friend, Frances, told me a story about a eulogy that had to do with a guy that said, “I’d rather have a hot dog and a big girl than a big dog and a hot girl,” or something like that. It was really funny. Frances, would it be too much to ask for you to tell a hilarious story?
Family member or friend to read scripture or literature – Up for grabs! Who wants it?!

Burial or cremation plot – I think you have to get a permit to spread someone’s ashes, right? Well,  I’m not sure where I want my ashes spread. Maybe somewhere in Hawaii, or on the University of Kansas (lol).

The Cats – God forbid I expire before they do. Thor will obviously take care of them, but god forbid we perish together. I must insist that my friend, Courtney, takes them because she is the most anal pet owner I’ve ever known, and that’s the kind of care they will need.

My Stuff – Do what you want. Obviously I won’t be needing it.

My Legacy – I’m woking on this one…prepare for a post within 6 months.

ONE FINAL REQUEST – I like the idea of someone visiting me. I won’t be having children, and I know eventually over time, I will be forgotten. So instead, I want to arrange paying a random stranger $100 a year to visit the spot of my ashes on any day they choose, until they themselves cannot perform this duty or the money set aside for this dries up.

 

Last Wishes Playlist – UPDATED

One of These Days – Neil Young

Give My Love to Rose – Johnny Cash

Space Oddity – David Bowie

Dreams – Fleetwood Mac

Love is the Answer – Aloe Blacc

Wicked Game – Chris Isaak

Just Like Jesse James – Cher

 

I Ain’t in Checotah Anymore – Carrie Underwood

My Rifle, My Pony, and Me – Buddy Case

Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver

That’s Alright Mama – Elvis Presley

Enjoy the Silence – Depeche Mode

Live to Tell – Madonna

Fade Into You – Mazzy Star

Bury Me – Smashing Pumpkins

Nodding Off – Wavves

Sleep – Nada Surf

Burn You Down – Beach Fossils

Holiday – Weezer

*Intermission

Repeater – Fugazi

Last Caress – Misfits

Live Fast Die Young – Circle Jerks

Laser Life – The Blood Brothers

Born to Die – Lana Del Rey

Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga

Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus

Die Young – Ke$ha

Above the Clouds – Wu-Tang Clan

California Love – Tupac

Know Yourself – Drake

You Can’t Stop Me Now – RZA

Take Back the Night – Justin Timberlake

Sabotage – Beastie Boys

Telephone – Lady Gaga

Best Song Ever – One Direction

Suburban Home – Descendants

Holiday in Cambodia – Dead Kennedys

City of Angels – Distillers

Helena – My Chemical Romance

Tongue Tied – Grouplove

Cannonball – The Breeders

Hybrid Moments – Misfits

Linoleum – NOFX

R.I.P. – Bikini Kill

Date With the Night – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Just Dance – Lady Gaga

Till the World Ends – Britney Spears

Press Gang – Murder City Devils

American Jesus – Bad Religion

Institutionalized – Suicidal Tendencies

What Do I Get? – Buzzcocks

We Can’t Stop – Miley Cyrus

Dancing on My Own – Robyn

Let Me Know – Youth Brigade

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2 thoughts on “My Updated Last Wishes

  1. Your latest blog, as always was highly thought provoking and entertaining. Who could guess that the discussion of death could be entertaining. I guess I have a whole new bucket list, “to listen to more than half of the songs you listed, that I have never even heard of the artist(s), let alone the song”. Thank you for giving me a reason to keep pushing on…… SC

    • I just read an article on ways to spark new creativity. One of the ways was to listen to a completely new genre of music. Although this particular playlist probably isn’t for most!

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